Pink Energy: Enforced Positivity the Aesthetic Jailer
Pink Energy: Enforced Positivity the Aesthetic Jailer
Kawaii folk I have to say, we look damn magical. Often appearing out of dreamy wonderlands or beyond the realm of mundane society. The community presents a nice niche wrapped in pink bows and decorated with all things, glitter, lace, and platform shoes. It’s absolutely addicting to be surrounded by the overall brightness. At some point as a community, we need to address enforced positivity and toxic positivity. I interviewed with Cora Maria, my favorite sustainable fashion activist on enforced positivity alongside the editors of Kei Club. I knew at some point after this interview, I was going to talk about this wildly popular phenomenon in regards to the Jfashion communities. To define toxic positivity, it’s a form of gaslighting someone or their situation, making them feel unsafe in expressing their negativity. This is bad because once you feel insecure about talking or mentioning negativity its common to isolate away, and in isolation, negativity thrives. Enforced positivity coming out of toxic positivity is how there is pressure to always present “positive energy,” “good vibes” “happy friends,” and more. Living in the pink era, of kawaii culture it should come at no surprise that these terms and situations go hand and hand to the unicorn land. Today we are breaking out of this toxic cute land. Let’s take the pink filter off and be real.
Enforced positivity is a critical community issue. We present so brightly or colorfully that these platforms believe we are living our best lives at every second of life. That idea is draining. It is important to remember that social media is a curated field, and what we present is the lens that others see us. If they don’t wish to engage with you as a person, they won’t know any different. One of the scariest things that came out of my personal journey was how quickly my term “Pink energy” became associated with positivity. Dismantling that idea is genuinely my life work at this point. I never want someone to associate me as a beacon of positivity, it puts a lot of pressure on the person to be bright all the time. Sadly, I’m not financially built or situationally secure to live up to that mantle. I can imagine I’m not the only one to feel that way. In fact, I would bet my hello kitty collection that someone out there feels pressured to be positive all the time. It is impossible, as a community, we must let in a little negative to turn our colorful spaces from a “token safe space” into a “brave space.”” I love the kawaii community, but it would be remiss of me to not notice that it’s hard for people to come to terms with the idea that these bright-looking fashion icons go through real shit and are human. In the underlayer of the Jfashion community, and many alternative or creative spaces, there is a cesspool of humanities trash lurking behind a successful YouTube channel, social media popularity, or a feature on a big platform. Nowadays I’m counting down until the next problematic fav is featured shaking a certain orange politicians’ hand. It is absolutely sickening that in our world of enforced positivity conversations on bullying, discrimination, racism, colorism, and fatphobia are just dust compared to haul videos and our favorite outfit of the day shots. Gals and pals I love a flat lay, but I wanna know you. Screw the smiling if you are going through something, you should not have to hide behind a pink filter.
Bursting into the kawaii cookout like I’ ve done this past year, the stench of underrepresentation and token-ship burned my eyebrow hair. It’s not new, that’ s the magical truth. As the sixth contest for kawaii international ends, and we look on to a new style leader to rise in fame, I’m pondering if yet again enforced positivity will keep us in a lite bright chokehold. Isn’t it exhausting? I know I’m tired, I miss the groovy gritty realness of the scene kid era. Back then, we were all sad, and we admitted it. So why aren’t as honest now in present alternative fashion communities?
The future of the kawaii community is in our hands. Uplifting voices who are authentic and all-around good people is a great start, but we also must remember that we are human behind these addictingly expensive styles. Pushing the idea that everything must be perfect, and we aren’t allowed the space to grieve or feel negative will continue to navigate people to exist outside of the kawaii cookout and alone. Honesty will turn true creative fashion into inspiration. Smiling day after day will only create a void. If you follow my social media, I’m frequently not smiling. It’s not that I don’t smile; it’s just I try to be as real to my emotional spectrum as possible. I live in a world of emotional authenticity, and I try to share that with people I meet. If I’m going through things you’ll see it, I’m honest about it. I can’t smile in everyone’s faces while I’m going through things. It pains me to do so. I refuse to lie about the reality of life while covered head to toe in fifty shades of pink. When I say pink energy, I’m encompassing the realness of combining the passionate, angry color red with the empty melancholy of the color white to make my pink limbo. Live your magical truths, don’t put filters over your life. It does more harm than good.
As a community, we are capable of being magical and honest about life. I want us all to break out of the aesthetic of continually being positive and “good vibes only.” Jailbreak out of that idea so we can be real in our cute fashion and change narratives. It starts with admitting when we don’t have the energy to dress to the nines. Setting up our boundaries as a community and refusing to give a platform and reach to people who hate on other people. You aren’t cute being racist. Let’s just start with that. A good friend will let her kawaii counterpart know that financially maybe buying your way through depression isn’t a good move for your finances. Do you really need a whole new outfit, when your closet is screaming for IKEA storage to clean up the clutter? Trust that with this honesty it really cleans up your immediate space, you’ll be surrounded with people who care about you! People who don’t dump unsolicited advice and actually sit back and let you talk about real issues without judgment. This is when you exceed the peak at what it means to live kawaii, genuine, and creative. Trust that “good vibes” energy is merely an empty platitude. We are going to be living pink honesty from here on out. Screw smiling a day to keep the doctor away. Let’s get gritty and look like rainbows at the forefront of activism, brave spaces, and making the world better.